Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Bus or Rail from Nanning to Hanoi?

Posted by mundovagabunda on 1/11/2010 at 18:02

Hi there,

Is it better to take the train or bus from Nanning (china) to Hanoi? Does anyone know the cost of the train? I think it is about $120USD, but trying to double check this. How does the border crossing work with the train vs the bus and how long does it normally take? I've also read that you switch buses once in Vietnam and if you take the train, the customs stop lasts about 4 hours. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. This is our first time in Asia. Thank you!!

#1 mundovagabunda has been a member since 1/11/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by tf_geckozy on 2/11/2010 at 19:38

Posted from within Vietnam.

I think bus is better for going to Nanning and Ha Noi if you don't have special interest in travelling by rail.--bus travelling is quicker and cheaper and more comfortable than rail and one more remarkable thing exists---you can enjoy beautiful scenery of calst mountains continuosly lasting between Guilin and Nanning because calst mountains that you might have enjoyed at Guilin widely exists not only around Guilin & Yang Shuo but also on the way between Guilin and Nanning, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh and other places in northern Viet Nam and Sam Neua & Vang Vieng in Laos, so you can also enjoy it in your trip to Nannning through the bus windows for about 6 hours' bus trip. And bus trip is everything smoother than rail.

(double posted into aonother thread and partly edited - Nov.1 2010)

Recently(last year & early this year & this time) i crossed Ping Xiang(CN)/Huu Nghi Quan(VN) border several times for travelling Viet Nam & Laos & Yunnang province in China, and next week i have to cross this border one more time for going(=returning) to Shanghai before going back to my country Japan by ferry(=ship)--now i'm in Hue (Viet Nam) almost finished my 2 month's travelling, and after staying at Hue a few more days i'll go up north to Ha Noi (& Shanghai) by bus & railway - slowly slowly-stopping at Nanning & Yang Shuo(near Guilin).

Well, as for bus from Nanning to Ha Noi, everytime i used a bus going to CN/VN border that departs from "Nanning International Travel Distributing Center"(=NITDC*) near Nanning Railway station-about 5 minuites by walk from there and this bus terminal has 6 buses a day going to Ha Noi --- 07:30am/ 08:00am/ 08:20am/08:40am/ 09:40am/ 13:40pm (bus fare is 148 yuan from Nanning to Ha Noi and booking your ticket one day before is better if you want to choose a bus just fitting with your schedule.

This bus service is everytime used by many Vietnamese who return to Ha Noi, and buses are mainly running on "Nan-Huu highway" to the CN border(PingXiang), and we passefgers all have to change another bus at Huu Nghi Quan in Viet Nam and at that time we all surely are handed "a neck-hanging card" of bus company so never be left at the border by bus while passport controll & visa formalities.

As far as i crossed this border 6 times in all, i've never paid any other fees including health check and bus ticket everytime includes "lunch fee" at a restaurant before PjngXiang border, so it's cost is ticket fare 148 yuan only from Nanning to Ha Noi..

This time(Nov.6) i left NIDTC* in Nanning at 7:40am(07:30am) and arrived "Kim Lien Travel"office in Ha Noi that locates at "Cau Giay"area at 16:40pm, and Kim Lien Trvel office is near Dae Woo Hotel--big Korean hotel--slightly far from Old Quater area if you will stay there, and it's cost is about 40,000VND by motobike-taxi (i'm not sure by taxi). Many taxis & motorbike-taxis will be waiting for bus-passengers at each time of buses' arriving.

*Between "Lang Dong bus station" along the highway and "Nanning Railway station" is very far and about 28-30 yuan by taxi and public bus No.6 is also avalable with 1 yuan without changing another bus.
*If you(OP or others) are budgt tourists---"Lotus Land Hostel" (=Youth Hostel, Internet free & wifi OK and room & bed, toilet, shower are all very clean) is close to "Nanning Railway station & NITDC*—it’s very convenient for taking bus at NITDC or train (original map avalable) ---(adress: "Shanghai Road" (small & short road) that crosses with Cho Yang Road)

Have a nice trip to Viet Nam, Bye!

#2 tf_geckozy has been a member since 2/9/2008. Posts: 82

Posted by mundovagabunda on 2/11/2010 at 20:43

Thanks for your tips! Did you find it easy and comfortable to travel by bus to Hanoi from Nanning? I'm not so concerned about the short leg from Guilin to Nanning, but more so about a sleeper bus or the like over the border. Sounds like the train may be more comfortable, but really am not sure about this. I didn't realize the bus was quicker.

#3 mundovagabunda has been a member since 1/11/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by travellingsarah on 3/11/2010 at 11:22 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

We did the journey by bus last year. Very easy and very comfortable with everything at the border straightforward. It's only about 3 hours on the Vietnam side from memory so no need for a sleeper. I had a feeling there wasn't a train running at the moment anyway, but at $120 (are you sure??!) the bus is a far better bet.

#4 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
 Send travellingsarah a private message   Where has travellingsarah been?   Website 

Posted by tf_geckozy on 5/11/2010 at 12:08

Posted from within Vietnam.

*Timetable of train from Beijin/Guilin/Nanning to Ha Noi ( Sundays & Thursdays)
(soft sleeper air-con in China side)

Beijing (west) ---depart 16:08pm day 1

Zhengzhou---depart 22:56pm day 1
Guilin---depart 14:58pm day 2
Nanning---depart 21:15pm day 2
Dong Dang---arrive 00:11am day 3 (change Gauge here)
Dong Dang---depart 03:50am day 3
Hanoi (main)---arrive 08:10am day 3

(train runs almost at night and it takes about 11 hours from Nanning to Ha Noi---bus trip is about 9 hours in daytime)

*Time table of train from Nanning to Ha Noi (Daily service)
(soft & hard air-con sleepers )

Nanning---depart 17:15pm/day 1

Pinxiang (CN border)---arrive 20:41pm/day 1
Dong Dang (VN border)---arrive 23:22pm/day 1 (change Gauge here)
Dong Dang---depart 01:25am/day 2
Hanoi (Gia Lam)---arrive 05:30am/day 2

(Gia Lam station is 6km from Ha Noi main station, across Red river, and train runs at night and it takes 12h15min from Nanning to Ha Noi)

As for direct bus including sleeper over the border between China and Viet Nam that we tourists can use, there is no bus service as far as i know and at least now though there are many direct buses including sleeper in limited routes running between Viet Nam and Laos & between China and Laos.

And as for Comfortable or uncomfortable, i think it depends on tourist indivisual and his feeling and liking for some transports, and if he is a very tall and fat westerner, his bus trip will become unbearable one, especially in sleeper bus compared with sleeper train for getting well-sleeping at night, but i think he may need no sleeping in the bus that runs in daytime.

#5 tf_geckozy has been a member since 2/9/2008. Posts: 82

Posted by tf_geckozy on 6/11/2010 at 16:46

Posted from within Vietnam.

post #4 -- (train from Nanning to Ha Noi)

Nanning---depart 17:15pm/day 1
Pinxiang (CN border)---arrive 20:41pm/day 1

Dong Dang (VN border)---arrive 23:22pm/day 1 (change Gauge here)
Dong Dang---depart 01:25am/day 2
Hanoi (Gia Lam)---arrive 05:30am/day 2

Pinxiang(CN border)---arrive 20:41pm/day 1
Pinxiang---depart 22:41/day 1-- (for passport control & visa formalities at CN border)
Dong Dang(VN border)---arrive 23:22pm/day 1 (change gauge here)
Dong Dang---departure 01:25am/day 2--(for passport control & visa formalities at VN border)
Ha Noi***

#6 tf_geckozy has been a member since 2/9/2008. Posts: 82

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.